If you've been where I have been lately that makes two of us.

If my memory serves me well I seem to have become lost again in the swirling annual autumnal Tucson blender vortex, set on high and headed into the great euphoric slog towards December.

The faster you go the rounder you get and all that.

So here's the two month Cliff Notes version for those keeping score...

TREES FOR THE FOREST: Over the summer red wine and warm temperatures got me to thinking about how The Anta Project could be further transformed.

The answer became a fundraiser for
No More Deaths.

They're doing good work helping migrants in the desert and I figured: Why not?

So I met with Sarah and Jim at No More Deaths and
a plan was hatched: I would give them The Anta Project and Droneland Security for a 1,000 disc run and they would keep all of the profits. However to do so we needed to raise $3,000 to cover costs.

Now the perpetually negative who seem to do nothing informed me it would not fly: bad economy, anti-migrant sentiment, anti-experimental sound cartels, anti-selling sound proponents, anti-anti-anti activists and so on.

But the vast majority of people I met were supportive and this is a good time to thank those who offered their support (apologies if I leave anyone out): Chris SchlarbPauline Oliveros, Natalie Davey, Phil Hargreaves, Katharine Weyant, Logan Phillips, Dan Millis, Margaret Schedel, Jacqueline Hoyt, Jenniffer Funk-Weyant, Elizabeth Burden, Carolyn Raffensperger, Adam C. Hostetter, Steve Moshier, Lois Martin, Steve Johnston and Paige Winslett, Steve Ediger, Bruce Hamilton, Josh Kun, Robert Neustadt, Jim and Maueen Marx, Sue Hammond, The Disco Day of the Dead attendees, and students and faculty from the University of Oklahoma.

While the Kickstarter site returned all of the pledges to backers because our goal was sadly not met, a few hundred dollars in cash was raised along the way to help support The Anta Project and No More Deaths.

But as is often the case, what we see and what we think we see are not always the same, and I soon realized the wall transformation was less about money and more about awareness.

Via Facebook, Web sites,
and a really wonderful article, awareness about border issues, No More Deaths and The Anta Project was cultivated in groups that had previously been unaware of each other.

Activism and experimental sound/art cross-pollinated in new ways and I am hopeful those connections will create some interesting outcomes in the years ahead.

In the mean time new transformation is underway again. More details as they emerge.

WHALE WAILS: In late September we did some camping in Northern Arizona for my daughter's birthday, a time of year when the leaves float, a cold wind blows and elk calls fill the night with whale song.

On the first night I'd gone off wandering into a field near the woods on the White Mountain Apache Reservation where we camped.

I found a rock in a clearing surrounded by pine trees and cow patties sprouting mushrooms in the moonlight.

A sole cumulous cloud appeared on the horizon, rising behind the timberline like a monstrous jellyfish, illuminated from within with lightning and tinted a Venetian bruised violet.

And with these visuals came the distant elk calls, shifting octaves, rising and falling in tone, communicating over miles.

Mixed with this primordial sound was campsite civilization: people, planes, cars.

At first I was irked by this invasion of civilization but soon realized it was an integral part of the entire sound ecology in that  location on the edge of wild.

Here's the track.

IMPROVISATIONS: Along the way a handful of improvisations bubbled up to the surface. The works for piano and banjo makes use of the exterior sound world as much and the internal.

There had been a flurry of military jet activity over the city during the recordings.

(And this is the city that wants to ban train whistles because the sound is unpleasing!)

The jet noise is obtrusive and dangerous to the health and hearing of young and old alike (not to mention what happens when a plane crashes into homes or schools) but again rather than work against it, I've been trying to incorporate the sound.

Surprisingly they offer some interesting sound options.

While on the subject of improvisations, I also happened upon a wonderful performance by a group of local Taiko drummers playing beneath the horrifically bland Fourth Ave. underpass.

I should note, however, the acoustics are growing on me...

Bandjrone Re-construction

2. Trickster At The Door

3. Tucson Taiko Underpass

FILM FLAM: Thanks to the gracious vision and support of Danny Vinik and others, The Anta Project had a unique opportunity to plug in and electrify The Nogales Wall as part of the filming of Flor de Muertos.

Being included in a film with performances by Tucson legends
Calexico, Flam Chen and The Molehill Orkestrah during the 20th Anniversary of the All Souls Procession is a huge honor.

For my segment, Danny was able to get access to power so we could literally amplify the wall and broadcast rolling waves of sound created by myself in Arizona/USA and musicians in Sonora/Mex.

It's not often you get the chance to plug in a multi-billion dollar border wall and take the whole thing interstellar.

To hear/see the actual performance you'll have to wait for the movie, but for now a
field recording of the performance being set up will have to do.

DEAD DISCO DRONE: And finally closing out the information gap was a performance at the annual Disco Day of the Dead party.

It is a private party so I'm not sure if I should be thanking the hosts and guests publicly, but the opportunity to create a roughly five hour long soundwork beneath a blanket of stars in the Tucson Mountains was wonderful.


ONE MORE THING:   On Monday, Nov. 16,
Solar Culture will host Sun Circle specializing in ecstatic high-volume drones, long-form trance music and peace noise.

Before their set, I'll be conducting a sonic walkabout exploration of the historic warehouse district which will organically weave into a set by
Jeph Jerman.

Doors open at 9 p.m.  and admission is $8. Both shows are open to all ages.

Be there or beware...